Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Crown Princess Victoria is pregnant

The Swedish royal court has announced that Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are expecting their first child in March.
Obviously the press release does not say if it is a boy or a girl, but as Sweden introduced gender-neutral succession in 1980 the eldest child will inherit the throne regardless of its sex.
I hereby suggest Oscar III for a boy and Christina II for a girl!


  1. I love your name choices! :) But I wouldn't mind some innovation if it's a boy, either. The introduction of new names surely doesn't need to be the burden of the royal women alone! ;)

    I'm hoping hard for a little Christina, though. Do you think they'd spell it Christina or Kristina? I recall hearing somewhere that while Swedes spell the queen's name with a Ch- nowadays, it was spelled with a K during her lifetime. And judging from statistics, K-ristina seems the more traditional Swedish version (as well as being the one used in Daniel's mother's name). But I certainly might be biased - I just quite like the look of "Kristina II" ;)

  2. The name of the heir to the throne is not the right place for being innovative, if you ask me. The heir to the throne ought to have a historic name, preferably one used by earlier monarchs.

    Thus, if it is a boy, the most likely names are Carl, Oscar and Gustaf or some combination of them, for instance Carl XVII Oscar (which would also commemorate the "lost heir", Carl XV's son, who would otherwise have been Carl XVI Oscar). But as the names Carl and Gustaf have been used a lot recently, I would prefer Oscar, which would make the child Oscar III someday.

    Another option for a boy might be Erik, but it has some unfortunate connotations. After the deposal and murder of Erik XIV by his brother it has only been used once and that was the unfortunate, mentally challenged youngest son of Gustaf V, who died in 1918.

    As a firstborn girl will be heir to the throne I think her name should also be one used by earlier female rulers of Sweden, i.e. Margareta, Christina or Ulrika Eleonora. As the Swedes put the numeral between the names if the monarch uses two names, Ulrika II might also be an option withou Eleonora (Ulrika Eleonora is a very heavy name).

    No, Queen Christina spelt her name Christina, but the Swedes have this extremely silly tradition whereby the names of monarch are posthumously standardised and made "more Swedish" by altering the spelling - thus the name of Queen Christina is now mostly spelt Kristina, Carl Karl, Gustaf Gustav, Oscar Oskar, Victoria Viktoria, Sophia Sofia etc.

    Not everyone follows this system, which means that several spellings of the name of one person may be found in different sources - a complete mess. Personally I tend to stick with the original spelling, i.e. Christina, Gustaf, Carl and so on.

    The current King, who would otherwise have been renamed Karl XVI Gustav the moment he drew his last breath, has expressed a wish that this should not be done from Gustaf V and onwards.

    Thus, Christina and not Kristina would most likely be the form of them name chosen (as for the King's sister) - similarly it would be Oscar and not Oskar, Carl and not Karl and so on.

  3. I take your point about the heir needing a more traditional name, but perhaps a name like Victoria - with roots in Sweden and the royal family, though not previously used for a heir - would be an acceptable alternative to the string of Carls and Gustafs without risking the Swedish monarchy on, say, a King Jack ;)

    Still, I just saw that Oscar was the most popular name for Swedish baby boys in 2010, so your wish looks quite likely indeed!

    Thanks for the clarification about the spellings; I'd always wondered at the multiple variants. Am I correctly understanding you that the Swedish monarchs always used the "less Swedish" spelling during their lifetimes? If so, that seems rather strange; was there a reason for it?

  4. I think the reason the current Crown Princess was named for her great-great-grandmother, a queen consort rather than a queen regnant, was that her parents at that time did not believe that she would actually be heir to the throne (the King has stated that he thinks the succession changes should not have been retroactive). But if it is a girl this time one will know that she will be monarch and thus I think it is likely that they will choose one of the names used by queen regnants, which would be Margareta, Christina or Ulrika Eleonora/Ulrika.

    Other names with a royal history, but not used by previous monarchs - Désirée/Desideria, Eugénie, Josephina, Sophia and so on - would probably be more likely choices for younger children.

    Yes, the spellings Carl, Gustaf, Sophia etc have been those used by royals in the past. Rather than ask why they used these spellings I think we should ask why some-one came up with the idea that for instance Sofia was more Swedish than Sophia and that the queens' and princesses' names should thus be "corrected"!

  5. I could add that given last year's bicentenary, that Crown Princess Victoria has said that Carl XIV Johan is her favourite ancestor and the mutual fondness between her and her great-uncle, who has in recent years become something of a grand old man of the royal family, I would not be entirely surprised if it is Carl XVII Johan who is born in March.

  6. Was there a moment when Swedish spellings were changed, and thus all of the names of former monarchs were changed at the same time? Or did the custom of retroactively changing the names just evolve naturally? In either case, I am a bit confused as to why they do this.

  7. I am afraid I do not know who came up with this extremely silly idea or when it happened, but it seems to be a fairly recent invention - I would estimate late nineteenth century or early twentieth.

  8. her parents at that time did not believe that she would actually be heir to the throne (the King has stated that he thinks the succession changes should not have been retroactive)

    Are you certain of this? The English-language news reports I have read from that time indicated that discussions of the reform were already underway when Princess Victoria was born.

    Perhaps not naming her in the manner of a heir (if that was indeed the case) was a symbolic act of protest. King Carl Gustaf's remarks in 2003 were indeed about the retroactivity of the reform, but his comments from the late 1970s/early 1980s very clearly stated his opposition to the reform itself, not only its retroactivity. (Quite inappropriate comments for a ceremonial monarch of a state that officially espouses gender equality to make, IMO.)

    But I have to wonder how strongly the royal house believes in naming monarchs after other monarchs, given that Oscar Bernadotte did not bother to change his name on becoming heir to the throne and later king. (I think I read somewhere that Oscar was not even a common Swedish name at the time.)

  9. Yes, discussions were indeed underway, but the decision had not yet been made and thus it was not clear that the changes would be retroactive. Thus it is possible that the King and Queen might have thought that Victoria would not be heir. It is also worth nothing that when a crown prince was born they chose a monarch's name, which would have made him Carl XVII Philip.

    Yes, King Carl Gustaf should certainly have kept his opposition to the changes to himself. He has also been much criticised for making such comments.

    The name Oscar was unknown in Sweden before 1810, but the custom of foreign-born heirs changing their names were also unknown until Christian August became Carl August in 1809 (the name Christian would have been impossible, given that Christian II is reviled in Swedish history and remembered as "Christian the Tyrant"). Friedrich of Hesse-Cassel became King Fredrik I, a name unknown among Swedish monarchs, and a generation later Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp became King Adolf Fredrik - there had been a Gustaf II Adolf, but never a king with Adolf as his first name.

    Oscar I, whose full name since birth was François Joseph Oscar, raised the issue of which name he should rule under at his accession council in 1844. Some of the Swedish ministers thought he should rule under the name Frans Joseph rather than Oscar and it was said that this was also favoured by his wife, Queen Josephina. The Norwegian ministers objected to this and were supported by a majority of the Swedish ministers, wherefore the new king was proclaimed Oscar I.

  10. I could by the way add that Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte did not change his name upon being elected Crown Prince of Sweden. At first his name was translated into Johan Baptist (he would thus eventually have become King Johan IV or King Johan IV Baptist), but when he was adopted by Carl XIII (a mark of goodwill which had no constitutional significance) he honoured his adoptive father by taking his name and thus became Carl Johan, eventually Carl XIV Johan.

  11. I think if the Crown Princess produces a little girl, she should name the child Victoria. Firstly, this will honour the Crown Princess herslf & recognise the unique position the women have been in as heirs to the throne. Furthermore, Victoria is quite a popular name in royalty without being too old fashioned. As for a boy, I say go with Carl Daniel and honour both the child's ancestors and his own father!! - dk

  12. I suggest that the Crown Princess should name a baby girl after herself – Victoria is a popular name in European royalty, Victoria herself is hugely popular and if she were to produce a girl, both Victoria and her daughter would be in the unique position of being the undisputed female heirs to the throne. For a boy, I would suggest a couple of choices. Either Carl Daniel or Erik Daniel. Carl Daniel is a nice way to honour the boy’s dad and grandfather and as for Erik Daniel, I just like Erik despite its connections to past Erik’s - dk


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